Genshin Impact players have been inadvertently locking themselves out of the newest major story update, and they’re not happy. “Getting quest blocked while doing an archon quest is the new cockblock,” tweeted one player. One even stopped their gaming session after getting “c0ckblocked.” Frankly, they’re right.
I’ve experienced this for myself, and it’s maddening. Here’s what’s been going on: Players are eager to dive into the game’s newest story quests, just added this week, in which they’re trying to save the nation of Sumeru from evil government officials who want to create an artificial god. The story is told in a limited-omniscient way that makes it feel as if the plan has a chance of failing at every turn. The writers masterfully exploit the gap between the player’s knowledge versus what the characters know. It’s all very tense and high stakes. Until the game tells you that you can’t keep playing.
Here’s the problem: Upon completing a particular quest and hitting a story cliffhanger, some players are getting an info box that pops up and tells them that they can’t proceed until they complete a certain side character quest (or several). Players who haven’t accepted those particular quests, or who have already completed them, can proceed just fine, but lots of people leave these quests, first added a few months ago, languishing in their quest logs for some time. According to Reddit, it takes about an hour to complete these side questlines. So if you’ve been slacking on these character stories, then you’ll have to complete them before you’re even allowed to touch the storyline that HoYoverse has been marketing to you aggressively for the past several weeks. There are currently three characters whose quests conflict with the main story: Cyno, Tighnari, and Nilou.
Here’s why: Plot-critical characters can’t be in two places at once. So for them to be standing in the spot where you need them to be for the new quest, you have to clear the old quest first. Like, I guess it’s fine? Three hours is not that much time in the grand scheme of Genshin Impact. But I do think it’s jarring that I’d be plotting to overthrow the government one second, and then I’ll have to go help Nilou move some boxes of random junk the next. Or trying to lure a robot crab. Please, just let me finish the quest that I’m actually excited for. Or let me delist them until I’m ready to help these characters perform random chores.
I wish that the developers had simply allowed us to choose which quest we’re currently undertaking, which is how many open-world games work. As things currently stand, you’re screwed if you “accepted” a conflicting quest. And many players find themselves locked out because character quest “unlocks” are time gated.
Players aren’t just given these character quests by default. In order to “unlock” them, players have to complete a certain number of daily quests in order to receive story keys. And players can only accumulate a maximum of eight keys. So most players are incentivized to unlock all of the character stories as soon as they become available. Kotaku reached out to HoYoverse to ask if these quest conflicts will be patched in a future update, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
So if you haven’t completed the main quest scenario, then do not unlock the character quests.